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Old story time - Long ago (like 1985?), in a game...
DM says, "the magic item your PC just put on is cursed, but it is a minor curse."
Player: "Arg! What's the bad news?"
DM, "It makes your eyes glow red in the dark, and dogs and small children of all races are afraid of you."
Player: "Ok, got that. But what's the curse? what's the bad part?"
DM says, "It makes your eyes glow red in the dark, and dogs and small children of all races are afraid of you."
Player: "But, what's the curse?"
DM: "that's the curse"
In the example above the Player thought the curse was Cool. The DM thought it was ... well, a curse.
Was it useful? well... the PC got a LOT of use out of the item, many-many fun RP encounters...
Sometimes curses are all in the eyes of the viewer...